Monday, April 11, 2011
The Atomic Breeding Grounds
By KARL GROSSMAN
As efforts are made in Washington to trim the federal government, one group is pointing to an area of the government that, it says, “must be cut back”—the string of national nuclear laboratories. These facilities, it charges, are “spending billions upon billions in taxpayer money annually while developing deadly nuclear technology.”
The organization is the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space based in Maine and for 25 years active in challenging nuclear technology.
In a statement it issued last week in connection with the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Global Network declared that the U.S. national nuclear laboratories have been “breeding grounds for developing lethal atomic energy.” The laboratories are Los Alamos and Sandia in New Mexico, Oak Ridge in Tennessee, Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley in California, Brookhaven in New York, Argonne in Illinois, Pacific Northwest in Washington, Savannah River in South Carolina and Idaho National Laboratory.
The U.S. national nuclear laboratory system grew out of the Manhattan Project, the World War II crash program to build atomic bombs. Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Argonne were original Manhattan Project laboratories. Later other laboratories were set up, all owned by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, with the mission of developing nuclear technology.
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